Known to the Queen as "the glass chappie"

Thank you

Thank you for honouring me by electing me to be the 279th Master of this ancient Livery Company. It is a great privilege to follow in the footsteps of so many worthy and distinguished Masters.

I am not the first chandelier man to be Master of the Glass Sellers. John Blades was previously Master three times between 1789 and 1825. His chandeliers are still hanging today in many important buildings in London.

In this year, I will celebrate 50 years in my family’s glass business, of which I am the third generation. My family has been dedicated to glass manufacturing for over 100 years and I have been fortunate enough to hold the Royal Warrant to HM the Queen for Glass restoration now for 36 years (I was known by Her Majesty as her ‘glass chappie’). I am hoping that I will be granted the Royal Warrant to His Majesty the King and hold it for many more years.

I look forward to representing the Glass Sellers this year and will do everything I can to encourage new members and to promote the Company in the City and beyond.

Theme of fellowship and fun

My overriding theme will be ‘fellowship’ and ‘fun’.

The Clerk has booked all the halls for our Court Dinners and the Mansion House for our Annual Banquet.

Many of you will have attended my Installation Dinner at Stationer’s Hall, where I was extremely pleased to have 169 guests for dinner, our Army Cadets formed the guard and thanks to our Charity Fund, the delightful children of Christ the King School sang us carols. The Clerk’s office worked very hard to make it a success.

The Ravenscroft Lecture is booked for 19th February with glass expert Colin Brain telling us about our connection with glassmaker George Ravenscroft as we celebrate the 350th Anniversary of the signing of the Indenture Agreement between the Company and George Ravenscroft.

The United Guilds Service at St Pauls will be on Friday 15th March and is one of the biggest ceremonial events on the City calendar.

On the 19th of March, we will be at Cutlers Hall, for our first Livery Dinner of the year with TV auctioneer Clive Emson as our guest speaker.

Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch

Thursday 18th April will see the Lord Mayor’s Big Curry Lunch at the Guildhall. Newly installed Freeman Glass Seller, Azad Ayub, is the principal sponsor, and we will be hoping to find at least 20 Glass Sellers to attend this charity event which since 2009 has raised £3.3 million for armed forces veterans.

In May we will be going to Maastricht for my Master’s Jolly, a fun weekend with sightseeing, glass blowing, chandelier making, and lots of fellowship and fun.

On the 18th of June our second Livery Dinner of the year at Painter Stainers Hall with the previous Clerk of the Chamberlain’s Court, Murray Craig, as my principal guest. Murray granted me my Freedom of the City and is well known for his excellent after-dinner speeches.

In August the Mistress and I will be hosting a summer BBQ at our home in Kent, and later that month we’ll be in Stourbridge for the British Glass Biennale to witness some truly amazing work created by glass artists from around the world and to present the Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers Arts & Crafts Awards.

In September our third Livery Dinner of the year will be at Butchers Hall with Andy McConnell as our guest speaker. Andy is a good friend to the Glass Sellers and who knows what he is going to come out with in his speech!

Our Clerk has planned several members’ evenings with interesting speakers and supper so why not bring someone along as a potential Glass Seller?

I’ll send more updates as my year progresses but, in the meantime, the Mistress and I wish you and your families a Happy and Healthy 2024.

David Wilkinson
Master 2023 -24